A Tuesday Tour of Tunes

Eddie’s Attic put Decatur on the map in terms of the national folk/acoustic music scene. I adore Eddie’s and I consider myself spoiled by the quality of shows there — I’ve been known to slip out of the house and up to Eddie’s on a Wednesday night to sit in a corner in the back with a beer, enjoy the heck out of a show, and be home by 9:45. I’m excited to see what the new owners might do with the space, and I am thrilled that Eddie Owen’s renewed involvement will ensure that the Attic will continue to honor the purpose it has served in support of national touring artists.

There is little room on its busy stage, however, for the many accomplished musicians we have homegrown right here. When I was an Agnes Scott student, Eddie was still a bartender at the Trackside, where I would go to hear the likes of local artists such as the Indigo Girls, Kristin Hall, and Michelle Malone. I loved it there, and I also loved going across the street to the Freight Room to hear folks like Cyndi Craven and Tom Wolf, two Atlanta acoustic mainstays who still perform in the area.

Those days are long gone, but still there is something about Decatur that wants to clear a space for the incredible muslcal talent that’s being cultivated right here at home. We are crawling with great music. It’s just a little hard to find sometimes.

It’s not so hard, though, on Tuesday nights. An actual local music scene is taking root right around the center of the city. Thinking back to a suggestion in John Kessler’s recent piece on Decatur’s dining scene that a wonderful, leisurely evening might be made of exploring the terrific culinary options the city has to offer, wouldn’t it be fun if a similar set of musical riches were to emerge?

Maybe we are well on our way. Three venues, all within a half-mile of one another around the square, are now hosting lively sessions on Tuesday nights. At these places you can find some of the best musical talent Atlanta has to offer. It’s well worth taking one night to explore all three, or to spread the joy over three weeks. Who knows? You might even find yourself setting aside your Tuesday evenings to walk up to the square and hear some music in a relaxed, comfortable setting. None of these are “open jams” or “open mics;” each promises — or even exceeds — performances that you would hear on a professional stage. Are you ready for a quick tour?

Twain’s Jazz Jam

Joe Gransden kicked off his Tuesday night jams at Twain’s Billiards and Tap on Trinity in April 2008, and it didn’t take long for this session to gain a reputation as one of the best jazz jams in Atlanta. Joe is well known in Atlanta and especially Decatur as a trumpeter and band leader par excellence, and his Tuesday nights at Twain’s draw some incredible local talent, including regulars pianist Tyrone Jackson, bassist Craig Shaw, drummer Chris Burroughs, trombone player Wes Funderburk . . . the list just goes on and on. Mosey in around 9:00, order a beer, then sit back and prepare to be blown away for several hours by the stunning musicianship on that stage. Here’s an example — a nearly nine-minute take on “Caravan” featuring Clarence Johnson on sax, Wes Funderburk on trombone, Tyrone Jackson on keys, Craig Shaw on bass, and Chris Burroughs on drums.

Marlay House Celtic Jam

If you’re called to something a little more Celtic, then jig on down to the Marlay House on Ponce for the terrific Irish sessions with, yes indeed, some of the best Celtic and acoustic players the Atlanta area has to offer. This jam, which gets rolling around 8 p.m., has been a lively weekly event since about 2009. Members of the Buddy O’Reilly Band (well known for their leading role in Atlanta’s Celtic Christmas performance), and renowned traditional players such as Moira Nelligan (fiddle player and vocalist) and Tim Cape (fiddle), Barbara Panter and Whit Connah of Hair of the Dog, and a host of other accomplished musicians circle ’round in a generous front corner booth and play unplugged. Sometimes the Irish step dancers put in an appearance, too. Later into the evening, around 10 or 10:30, the music strays from its traditional Irish bent into American old-time, swing, blues, even Cajun. Find a table near the front for a good spot to watch and listen. Here’s a segment that WPBA produced on the Marlay House jam not long ago.

Java Monkey’s Tuesday Night String Club

A Marlay House session may leave you wanting to more fully explore Decatur’s acoustic offerings. Hie thee off, then, to Java Monkey on Church Street, for the Tuesday Night String Club. Since January 2010, here have gathered some of the area’s most accomplished songwriters and players, who bring out their guitars, ukuleles, mandolins, cellos — there’s even a concertina and a piano pretty regularly — for an evening of showcases, collaborations, experimentations, and playing for the pure pleasure of it. Among the regulars are local favorites Ben Wakeman, Cyndi Craven, Ashley Filip, Billy Gewin, Bruce Gilbert, Bob Bakert, Jerry Brunner, Lindsay Petsch, Daniel Lipton, and Atlanta newcomer and former Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member, John Cable. Take your glass of wine or brew and your hunk of Southern Sweets cake out onto the patio and settle in with this intrepid and entertaining gang. Here’s a sampling of a few minutes of a recent Tuesday Night String Club evening, featuring John Cable, Lindsay Petsch, and Daniel Lipton.


Agnes Scott Student in Glamour’s “Top 10 College Women”

I love bragging about my alma mater and fellow Scotties. And as a ukulele enthusiast, I love bragging about my fellow ukers. As it happens, these two worlds of mine collided in the September issue of Glamour, when Agnes Scott College student Tally Deushane was named one of the magazine’s “Top 10 College Women” for her YouTube-fueled fame. The adorably dorky Tally, a literature/creative writing major, has been writing original songs on her el cheapo ukulele from Amazon, videotaping them in her dorm room, and posting them on YouTube. She writes a lot of songs about television shows, and they are funny.

From the Glamour profile: “She didn’t think anyone would watch, but she started getting thousands of hits from viewers in the U.S., Australia, Germany, Italy, France and Brazil—among them the producers of CBS’s How I Met Your Mother, who included her tune about their show on their season-five DVD.”

Tally, who has her sights set on Tina Fey’s career trajectory, has more than 100 ukulele songs on her YouTube page. Here is the latest, which happens to be my very favorite:

(Note especially that black ring on her left hand!)

Read more here: http://www.glamour.com/magazine/2011/09/top-10-college-women-the-entertainer

DeKalb County Makes May 24th “Lil Jon Day”

Allison points out this write up on Pop Dust

Lil Jon: Rapper, producer, vocabulary expander, fashion innovator, reality TV show contestant, and now, state-recognized philanthropist. From his work on Season 11 of The Apprentice (also known as Celebrity Apprentice 4), Jonathan Mortimer Smith raised a cool $80,000 for his charity of choice, the United Methodist Children’s Home (UMCH). For his contributions—his “unyielding commitment to raise money in support of children and families” and his “passion for advocacy and outstanding commitment to empowering [the] community,” as the official document states—the county of DeKalb, Georgia has deemed the date of May 24th, 2011 to be “Lil Jon Day”.

Scott Drake also alerts us to AccessAtlanta’s photo gallery of Lil John’s visit to United Methodist Children’s Home in Decatur.

John Mayer Plays Eddie’s Attic

And by “plays” I actually mean “played”.

In usual fashion for these sorta things, around 10pm last night John Mayer tweeted

Atlanta people! Lets jam out at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur. 11:30pm. Heading over now.

Richard Eldridge of Atlanta Magazine reported from the scene

Hundreds of people immediately packed into the club. And out the door. And down the square.

We’ll give you a reference point. On Sunday, Intel tried to gain entrance into the beyond-capacity AJC Decatur Book Festival-sponsored Edgar Allan Poe puppet show presented by the Center for Puppetry Arts at Eddie’s Attic.

This was bigger.

Here’s a concert-goers pic from the show, and @Carl’s pic of the line outside.

After the concert, Mayor wrote…

Can’t explain the fullness in my heart from returning to Eddie’s Attic. My launching pad. I’m so moved.

Anybody catch it?

h/t: DaveFM (via the misses)

Paste Magazine Folds Print Edition

UPDATE II: According to AP, Paste’s Print Edition is dead.  The website and online components will live on.

UPDATE:  Damn, Wikipedia is already referring to it in the past tense.

Aw hell.  From Gawker

We heard earlier today that Paste Magazine was in imminent danger of folding. Looks like it’s already happened.

A tipster tells us “They announced it internally yesterday in an afternoon meeting, giving employees approx… 2 hours notice.” Rough. A few (former) Paste editors took to Twitter:

I saw Rachel Maddux’s Tweet about needing work last night, but never followed up.  This is a sad flippin’ day.

Eddie’s Attic Looking For “Options To Generate Additional Capital”

These Schumacher real estate posts have become an exciting guessing game for us.

While rarely going to the extent of naming a business outright , the site often describes a business in such great detail that it narrows the possibilities to just two or three parties.

But with this post, it was pretty obvious who was being discussed.

One of Atlanta’s and the country’s premiere listening rooms for performing songwriters, located in a vibrant, artist-friendly and pro-business community with a small town feel – yet just minutes from downtown Atlanta.

…The business produces a weekly radio show featuring live recordings from the venue that currently airs in over 40 markets across the Southeast, and has recently created a TV Pilot in conjunction with one of this country’s finest post production companies that is being reviewed by several networks.

Decatur Eddie’s Attic seems to be the only business in all of metro Atlanta that would fit that bill.

So what’s up?  Is Eddie’s Attic for sale?  Is it going anywhere?

Continue reading “Eddie’s Attic Looking For “Options To Generate Additional Capital””

Caroline Herring To Appear on Prairie Home Companion Next Saturday

Decatur folk musician Caroline Herring announced on Facebook yesterday that she would be appearing on Prairie Home Companion this coming week when Garrison Keillor and crew are at the Fox Theater on Saturday, May 22nd. Tickets look to be sold out.

With Prairie Home regular Roy Blount Jr. as one of the other special guests scheduled to be on the show, it’s too bad that Decatur couldn’t host the event itself with all the connections!

Random Fun fact: According to Roy Blount Jr.’s Wikipedia page, he went to Ponce de Leon Elementary, which used to sit on the current site of the Decatur Post Office, and if my memory serves me, looked a lot like Clairemont Elementary.